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Hyperloop & Maglev: Rail Innovations

In this article, we explore how emerging technologies such as Hyperloop and Maglev are shaping the future of the rail industry.

Table of Contents

hyperloop and maglev


Hyperloop is a newly proposed form of rail technology that is currently being explored by a number of companies. It refers to a system of sealed pods that are propelled through tubes of low air pressure, with minimal air resistance or friction, either above or under-ground.

The Hyperloop system comprises of 3 main parts; the pods, the tube and the terminals. The pods, sitting inside the tube, utilise aerodynamic or magnetic levitation, through the use of air-bearing skis and magnets, along with electromagnetic or aerodynamic propulsion to glide along a fixed guideway that stretches from one terminal to another.

The Hyperloop project aims to offer:

  • Travel speed as high as 760 mph (1,220 km/h)
  • Extremely high propulsion efficiency
  • Minimal greenhouse gas emissions
  • Easy transport of large goods
  • Minimal friction
  • Potentially cheap & easy construction


Maglev is a type of rail transportation system that uses 2 sets of large magnets to propel efficiently. The first set of magnets is used to repel the train and elevate it up the track; the second set of magnets is used to propel the elevated train forward towards its destination.

Maglev trains have already been implemented in many countries around the world, with the fastest being the Shanghai maglev train, which covers 19 miles in just over 8 minutes.

The benefits offered by Maglev trains include:

  • Travel speed as high as 270 mph (430 km/h)
  • Failsafe suspension – no energy required to activate the magnets
  • Minimal greenhouse gas emissions
  • Technology already proven
  • No friction

Solutions for the Future of Rail

Transportation is responsible for up to 25% of global CO2 emissions yearly. This is why it is essential to transition towards cleaner and more innovative technologies within the rail industry to reach the 2050 zero-emissions target set by the UK government.

Additionally, new rail technologies such as Hyperloop and Maglev allow the elimination of friction-based systems. This allows manufacturers to invest more capital in the development of the train itself, instead of using resources to frequently maintain the friction-based systems (track, lines, etc.) that are costly and time-consuming.

Rail manufacturers can utilise adhesives and sealants to provide unique advantages within the structures of their trains.

Adhesives and sealants, when used in place of traditional bonding mechanisms, enable:

  • Lightweighting – increased fuel efficiency
  • Aesthetic finish
  • No interference with magnetic systems
  • Compatibility with a wide range of substrates
  • Long-lasting performance
  • High temperature, chemical and water resistance
  • Excellent stability in different and extreme conditions

Discover our full guide on adhesives and lubricants for train and railway maintenance to see our solutions fit for electronics, glass bonding, interiors and mechanical fixtures within trains.


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EN 45545 Railway Applications

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This white paper examines the european standard EN 45545 Fire protection for passenger railway vehicles.